Most of the presentations about the Internet of Things at CES this week have been full of enthusiasm, extolling the different ways it can enrich our lives (and make them easier). The U.S government, however, is a bit more cautious in its optimism.
Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, gave a CES address that emphasised how easy it could be for hackers to take over our internet-connected devices.
To be fair, she did say she was impressed with their potential to improve our lives. But she also emphasised that with the numbers of smart home devices expected to hit 25 million this year, we need to be even cleverer than our technology if we want to keep our personal data safe. ‘Inadequate security on Internet of Things devices could enable intruders to access and misuse personal information,’ she warned.
She’s calling for companies to assess security risks as part of the design process, test security prior to release, encrypt personal information, let users know exactly who their data’s been shared with, and minimise the amount of data collected in the first place. She’ll be conducting an ongoing investigation to check how well companies comply with her recommendations.
Image via EnergieAgentur.NRW’s Flickr.
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